Farmers are great to talk about the brands they own by color or long-time family heritage. Yet between every farm and major manufacturer is another important step - the local dealer. That group is there when the planter goes down, or you throw a clutch bearing on a Thursday afternoon on a superb spring day when the planter should be moving.
Sure, the dealer is also that guy that deals hard at buying/trading time, but he has a business to run too where you'll find parts, service and a well-trained staff. And frankly, given the tough times dealers have been through in the past the "bad ones" are long gone. You count on them and they're there for you, or you switch to another. Pretty simple.
But dealers sell goods made by other companies and they have to count on those companies to support their stores so they can support you. That value chain from farmer to dealer to manufacturer involves significant relationships. Recently the North American Equipment Dealers Association announced the recipients of its Dealer's Choice Award and Gold Level awards for 2015.
These are awards that recognize companies that serve their dealers the best, and while not everyone wins the list of names here is prestigious. Why should a farmer care? Good service by the company to your dealer should translate into excellent support for your farm.
The 2015 Dealer's Choice Award recipients include John Deere, full line manufacturer; LS Tractor, tractor manufacturer; Vermeer, shortline manufacturer; and Grasshopper, outdoor power equipment manufacturer.
In a release announcing the awards, Blaine Bingham, NAEDA Chair, comments: "The Dealer’s Choice Award recognizes manufacturers that are doing an exceptional job of providing top-quality products, parts, service, and support to the industry. These companies are to be complemented on their efforts to excel and assist dealers in key areas of our business operations."
John Deere issued a release after the announcement and Bob Timmons, director, sales, John Deere Ag and Turf Division, says: "This is great news and we're extremely proud to be ranked so highly by NAEDA dealers. John Deere dealers do an exceptional job in providing quality products and services to customers."
The dealer organization also listed companies for Gold Level service and include: Outdoor Power Equipment Manufacturers - ECHO, Exmark, Ferris, Scag, Shindawiwa, Stihl and Toro. Tractor Manufacturers - Branson Tractor, Kubota Tractor, Kioti Tractor. Shortline Manufacturers - Great Plains, Kuhn, Landoll, Landpride, MacDon, and Woods.
Dixie Chopper is the recipient of the 2015 Most Improved award for attaining the greatest percentage of improvement in overall ratings from 2014.
One item of note for this year's survey by NAEDA, the organization got 6,000 manufacturer ratings, which was a significant increase in dealer input. It's a way for dealers to share information about manufacturer performance and highlighting the key players is one benefit of the program.
You can learn more by visiting naeda.com.